GGG#10: Tom Rogers
Episode 10 << Click to Listen
Tom Rogers, author of Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics, joins us to talk about exploding cars, battles in space, and the problem of scale in the insectoid world.
Panel Topic: Hard Science Fiction
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0:00 Introduction by Tor.com
0:46 Dave and John introduce the show
Interview: Tom Rogers
02:55 Interview begins
03:11 Tom’s background and how he got interested in science
04:36 Flashing bullets, exploding cars and the website that resulted
10:15 Nuclear bombs: the solution to incoming asteroids?
11:12 The problems with blowing up alien space ships
13:30 The wheelbarrow as munitions delivery system
14:13 Do we need to worry about giant ants any time soon?
15:30 Find out which movie Tom thinks is scientifically the worst movie of all time
16:35 Don’t despair, fellow geeks—there are a few movies with reasonably good science!
18:34 The limitations of humans and cybernetic counterparts
21:01 More movies that get some things right
22:23 Tom’s opinion of the recent Star Trek movie
24:36 Feedback from movie fans
26:03 How to get better scientific realism in movies
30:33 End of interview
Dave and John talk about science in science fiction
31:36 Dave’s fall from grace: Red Shift Rendezvous by John E. Stith
37:04 Other stories that combine hard science with some necessary fudging: Time for the Stars by Robert Heinlein; Larry Niven’s The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton. Discussion of telepathy and mental powers as an SF trope, The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
46:29 Created worlds in science fiction: Larry Niven’s Ringworld; Hex and “The Other Side of Jordan” by Allen Steele (which can be found in Federations); Iain M. Banks’s Culture series and story collection State of the Art; the work of Alastair Reynolds: Revelation Space, Zima Blue and Other Stories, Deep Navigation, and Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days
53:09 Dave and John have some advice for movie makers
55:37 More on the new Star Trek movie, and what’s the deal with sexy aliens? Whatever it is, John won’t judge you.
58:28 Dave and John explain the Singularity
01:00:39 Show wrap-up
Next week: Alexandre Phillippe, director of The People vs. George Lucas
Thanks for listening!